Living in the Spirit

KEY VERSE: “The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus path made me free from the law of sin and death.” —Romans 8:2


THE CREATION OF father Adam before the fall, as God’s workmanship, was pronounced as “very good.” (Gen. 1:31) Man, created in the image of God, was not opposed to God’s divine law, for that perfect law was written in the very beings of our first parents, who were in full accord with it. Disobedience brought about the fall, with its accompanying law of sin and selfishness, and, as a consequence, greatly distorted God’s divine law in man. The Lord has promised, however, to restore mankind to its original perfection. (Acts 3:19-21) Christ, as a ransom for all, is the means by which God will bring this about in due time.—I Tim. 2:5,6,

Jesus, in association with the true church, will mediate the New Covenant between God and men; but before this can be accomplished, the Mediator must be developed during this Gospel Age. It is good to remember that the apostle wrote the words of today’s lesson, not to the world, nor about the world, but to those who have passed from death to life, and are now living in the Spirit. Verse 1 emphasizes that because we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”—Rom. 5:1,2, New International Version

Verse 2 calls our attention to two laws now in operation. We were, under one of these, which sentenced us to death as sinners. We escaped from that law entirely when we became New Creatures in Christ Jesus, as members of his body. It was Jesus’ precious blood that purchased us from the slavery of sin and death.

As he was raised to a new nature by the Father’s power, we now are invited to become associates with him in that new nature, and counted as members of his body, with our Lord as the Head. We are now freed from the condemnation that was against us as fallen human beings, and are under a new law.

It is not that our fallen flesh has actually been made perfect, but we are able to comply with God’s requirements of exercising faith in him. Neither is our flesh changed so that it is able to obey his law, but, as New Creatures, the flesh is reckoned as dead, and our spirit or mind is directed by God’s Holy Spirit. It is no longer regulated by our earthly nature. Concerning this, Paul instructs us to “walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Gal. 5:16) God now accepts the will, or desire, of the members of the body of Christ, instead of their actual performance, as meeting every requirement of his law. Thus he justifies freely and completely all who are in Christ—not one of whom could have been justified by the Law under the Jewish Covenant, or otherwise.

If one [Christ] died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a New Creature.”—II Cor. 5:14-17

Paul did not mean we should pay no attention to the shortcomings of the flesh. All fleshly weakness must be striven against, for those who live as their human nature dictates, have their minds controlled by what their human nature wants, resulting in death. Those who live as the Holy Spirit dictates, have their minds controlled by what the Spirit wants, resulting in life and peace. Paul said, “Set your affections on things above, not things on the earth.”—Col. 3:2

One who is in Christ has new ambitions, new hopes, new aims. His affections are upon things that are pure and good, although the law of sin assails us through the weakness of our mortal bodies. The New Creature will continue to seek help from the Heavenly Father to grow stronger in a godlike Spirit, with a corresponding weakening of the fleshly spirit. If Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, which lives in you.”—Rom. 8:10,11, NIV

Dawn Bible Students Association
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